DNR grants totaling Nnearly $660,000 will be used to fight invasive aquatic plants in Indiana's lakes.
The grants were awarded by DNR director Cameron F. Clark through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
The 40 projects involve 63 lakes in 15 counties. Grant applications were submitted by local sponsors who share at least 20 percent of the total cost.
LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This user-funded program benefits boaters throughout the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for many local organizations to fund on their own.
"Controlling invasive aquatic plants in lakes will improve fish habitat by giving native vegetation a better chance to propagate," Clark said.
The grants will help control or manage aggressive non-native species, including Eurasian watermilfoil, curly leaf pondweed, and starry stonewort, that can take over and clog lakes.
The grants can also provide economic benefits to lake communities by improving and increasing public access opportunities for those who fish or boat for pleasure.